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Talk: A Variability Perspective of Mutation Analysis

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Yesterday we welcome Professor Pierre-Yves Schobbens in our department for a talk, which concerned on Software Product Lines Testing. More specifically, mutation testing.

Mutation testing is an effective technique for either improving or generating fault-finding test suites. It creates defective or incorrect program artifacts of the program under test and evaluates the ability of test suites to reveal them. Despite being effective, mutation is costly since it requires assessing the test cases with a large number of defective artifacts. Even worse, some of these artifacts are behaviourally “equivalent” to the original one and hence, they unnecessarily increase the testing effort. We adopt a variability perspective on mutation analysis. We model a defective artifact as a transition system with a specific feature selected and consider it as a member of a mutant family. The mutant family is encoded as a Featured Transition System, a compact formalism initially dedicated to model-checking of software product lines. We show how to evaluate a test suite against the set of all candidate defects by using mutant families. We can evaluate all the considered defects at the same time and isolate some equivalent mutants. We can also assist the test generation process and efficiently consider higher-order mutants.

Bio: Pierre-Yves Schobbens graduated in Philosophy in 1982, in Applied Mathematics and Economics in 1983, in Computer Science in 1984, magna cum laude, and received his PhD in 1992 all from the University of Louvain, Belgium. He then worked as a permanent researcher for the CNRS in Nancy, France. He is currently full professor at the University of Namur, Belgium, since 1994. He was also invited professor at IST Lisbon, Ecole Normale Supérieure (Cachan), Ecole Centrale (Nantes), universities of Birmingham, Brussels, Toulouse, Grenoble. His current research interests include software product lines, software evolution, formal methods, agent-oriented software engineering, model checking and the underlying theory: semantics, logics and automated reasoning. He was vice-Dean from 1995 to 1997. He is the Chair for International Relationships of his Faculty. He is (co-)author of about 140 papers. He is member of the expert groups WG1.3, 5.8, 2.12, 12.3 of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP).

Pierre-Yves Schobbens’ talk at UFBA’s Computer Science Department.